It is no secret that Texas drivers tend to drive fast, especially on highways. Despite increased speed limits over the years, drivers seem to consider speed limits more like suggestions rather than the law, and many appear to be operating their vehicles at least five miles per hour (MPH) over the speed limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While speed limits are put in place to protect drivers and encourage road safety, a recent study has found a correlation between higher speed limits and increased highway accidents.
The study revealed that a five MPH increase in the legal speed limit correlated with an 8% increase in fatalities on interstates and freeways. While several states have considerably high speed limits of 70-75 MPH on highways, Texas is the only state with a legal speed limit of 85 MPH, ultimately leading to riskier roadway conditions and more auto accidents.
While speeding is something every driver does at least once or twice, it’s not something that should be looked over. Russ Martin, the Director of Government Relations for the Governors Highway Safety Association stated, “Speeding has been around forever, and it’s still a threat on our roads, speeding is dangerous.”
How Are Speed Limits Set?
Engineers set speed limits after they determine the maximum safe speed for a section of roadway. When a driver exceeds that safe speed, they are then operating their vehicle past the edge of control, opening them up to the possibility of a car accident or even death.
There’s a good reason all roads in the U.S. have maximum posted speed limits. Speeding while behind the wheel is incredibly dangerous. NHTSA reported that speeding accounted for 26% of all traffic fatalities. Despite the dangers, many Lubbock drivers continue to speed, putting everyone on the roadways at risk. To combat speeding drivers, the Lubbock Police Department is cracking down on violators. The police department’s stated goal “is to slow drivers down, to make them pay attention to what’s around them, and to really focus on driving and put away other distractions.” To help reach this goal, the Lubbock Police Department has motorcycles and Mustangs out in the community on a daily basis to issue citations.
Consequences of Speeding
In 2018, speeding accounted for more than 9,378 deaths. While it is understandable that people are busy and might be in a hurry to get to work or other obligations, speeding is not the answer. Driving over the speed limit endangers everyone on the road and has severe consequences. Some of the problems with speeding might not even occur to many drivers.
In order to ensure safer roads and hopefully less traffic fatalities, think about the following effects next time you catch yourself driving over the speed limit:
- Greater potential for getting a speeding ticket
- Increased risk of losing control of your vehicle
- Endangering the lives of nearby drivers
- Higher risk of accidents in torrential weather
- Increased accident and injury severity
- Higher fuel consumption and cost
- Less time to react to objects or dangers in the road
We Can All Make the Road Safer
It is every driver’s responsibility to be safe on the roads. Many people – when asked where the most dangerous roads are in Texas – tend to think of larger metropolitan areas such as Houston, Austin, or Dallas. Most of us consider Lubbock to be particularly safe compared to the larger cities in Texas. Unfortunately, this is not true. Lubbock has seen a significant increase in fatal auto accidents caused by speeding over the past few years.
What factors contribute to the large amount of Lubbock roadway deaths at the hands of careless, speeding drivers? Experts chalk it up to a variety of reasons, including distracted driving, higher speed limits on the highways, and the fact that Lubbock is a hub city many travelers drive through in order to reach other destinations. Despite these possible explanations, many are left questioning what can be done to stop so many speeding accidents and deaths in our city.
Preventing Speeding in Lubbock
One of the simplest things we can do to help prevent speeding in Lubbock is to stop ourselves from engaging in dangerous driving behaviors. Other methods to help reduce Lubbock speeding fatalities include:
- More speed bumps and raised platforms to catch drivers’ attention.
- More signage to warn drivers they are entering slower speed areas, such as residential neighborhoods and school zones.
- More roundabouts to slow traffic down and provide clear instruction on the flow of traffic and right-of-way for drivers.
- Vehicle technology to alert drivers of speed status and speed limits.
- Increased traffic violation fines.
Speeding Accident Help
It should be clear speeding is an aggressive behavior that has devastating consequences. Unfortunately, too many drivers partake in this behavior, with little regard for others on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by speeding, we can help. Contact the Texas motor vehicle accident attorneys at Liggett Law Group for a free case evaluation today.